|Publication number||US7777435 B2|
|Application number||US 11/701,269|
|Publication date||Aug 17, 2010|
|Filing date||Feb 1, 2007|
|Priority date||Feb 2, 2006|
|Also published as||US20080187443|
|Publication number||11701269, 701269, US 7777435 B2, US 7777435B2, US-B2-7777435, US7777435 B2, US7777435B2|
|Inventors||Ray A. Aguilar, Robert M. Castle|
|Original Assignee||Aguilar Ray A, Castle Robert M|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (13), Referenced by (23), Classifications (7), Legal Events (3)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
The application claims priority of Provisional Patent Application No. 60/763,993 filed Feb. 2, 2006.
The invention generally pertains to commercial pool filtration systems that use a media (sand and/or gravel) filter. The invention particularly pertains to an adjustable frequency pump control system that automatically controls the speed of a water circulation pump to adjust for various water pumping loads.
Commercial pool filtration systems must be able to control a wide range of operating conditions or filtration cycles. Each filtration cycle is subject to a large number of operational changes dependent upon the pump used, filter type, flow rate, and environmental conditions. In applications such as commercial pool filtration systems there are requirements mandated by local building codes for minimum pump flow rates in order to provide adequate filtration.
The pump's primary design point is selected to operate against the most demanding condition in the filtration cycle, that is the dirtiest filtration point which occurs just prior to a pool backwash. The water circulation pump is selected to operate at the design point as efficiently as possible. Unfortunately, when pool filters are clean the pump operates against a total head of 10 PSI to 15 PSI which is less than the primary design point. This condition results in the pump operating for extended periods of time at an inefficient position on its performance curve and may result in damaging cavitation. Cavitation is the sudden formation and collapse of low pressure bubbles in liquid by means of mechanical forces. Cavitation not only causes the pump to under perform but is also very damaging to the pump's impeller and other internal components which can shorten the pump's useful life.
The instant invention maintains an optimum water flow rate by adjusting the speed of the pump to match the loads that vary throughout the filter cycle. In doing so it keeps the overall pump performance within the most efficient area of operation which saves energy, and results in less wear and tear, increases the reliability and extends the useful life of the pump. The invention also has other special energy saving features of operation that allow the pump to be slowed or stopped during pool-closure hours.
A search of the prior art did not disclose any literature or patents that read directly on the claims of the instant invention. However, the following U.S. patents are considered related:
U.S. PAT. NO.
2 Jan. 2007
Sterghos et al
24 Mar. 1998
Mills et al
30 Jun. 1987
Millis et al
19 Mar. 1985
The U.S. Pat. No. 7,156,983 patent discloses a swimming pool backwash control system that includes a timer and a valve combination that controls normal re-circulating and backwash flow through a swimming pool filter. The timer is in series with an electric power circuit that activates the pool pump when the valve is moved to the backwash flow position. The timer also maintains the electric power to the pump for a user-specified or a pre-set period. At the end of the period the timer causes the circuit to open, thereby disabling the pump. Power can be restored to the pump by returning the valve to its normal re-circulating flow position.
The U.S. Pat. No. 5,730,861 patent discloses a swimming pool control system that automatically controls the daily maintenance functions of a swimming pool. The control system monitors system conditions, makes adjustments for abnormal conditions, and provides remote feedback of system problems during its daily cycle.
The U.S. Pat. No. 4,676,914 patent discloses a pump that pumps water from a swimming pool to a forward/reverse direction control valve. The control valve has a forward flow state in which it channels water into an inlet of a filter and from a filter outlet back to the swimming pool.
The U.S. Pat. No. 4,505,643 patent discloses a circulating pump that pumps water between a swimming pool and a filter or other circulated fluid receiving apparatus. A control circuit operates the circulating pump and includes a first timer and a cycle switch which is cyclically closed to produce a pump signal for a first duration that starts a second timer. The second timer holds a time controlled switch conductive for a pre-selected time period. When the pressure monitored by a pressure sensor exceeds a pre-selected pressure, a low pressure switch closes conducting the pump signal around the bypass and time controlled switches.
For background purposes and as indicative of the art to which the invention relates, reference may be made to the following remaining patents found in the search:
U.S. PAT. NO.
Steininger, et al
20 Apr. 1999
17 Dec. 1996
Hindman, et al
13 Nov. 1984
15 Jun. 1976
23 Jan. 1968
The adjustable frequency pump control system (AFPCS) disclosed herein is designed to automatically control the speed of a pool's circulation pump. The speed of the circulation pump is determined by a frequency adjusted, motor speed control signal. The speed of the circulation pump is selected to correspond to a particular design point of the pump's filtration cycle.
In its basic design configuration the AFPCS functions in combination with a plurality of system-external elements. These elements include a power input, a circulation pump, and a chemical or filter control unit that produces a circulation pump-run signal and a backwash signal.
The AFPCS consists of:
a) An enclosure that is dimensioned to enclose all the elements that comprise the system, and includes a means for interfacing with the power input, the circulation pump and the chemical or filter control unit.
b) An adjustable frequency drive (AFD) that is programmed during the start-up of said AFPCS, with data that includes set points and switching sequences that meet a customer's requirements. The AFD has an input that is connected to the power input and an output consisting of the frequency-controlled, motor speed control signal.
c) A power supply having an input connected to the power input and an output consisting of a first voltage and a second voltage,
d) A system mode selector switch having an input that is connected to the first voltage and an output consisting of a selected mode signal that controls the following modes:
e) A time clock having an input that is connected to the first voltage, and an output consisting of a mode timing signal,
f) A pressure transducer that when enabled by the application of the second voltage produces a line pressure signal,
g) A program logic control (PLC) having a plurality inputs and an output, wherein the plurality of inputs are comprised of:
The output of the PLC is the frequency-set signal that is applied to the AFC that in combination with the software produces the frequency controlled motor speed signal that is ultimately utilized to control the speed of the circulation pump.
In view of the above disclosure, the primary object of the invention is to produce an adjustable frequency pump control system (AFPCS) that automatically maintains an optimum flow rate throughout all aspects of a pool's filtration cycle.
In addition to the primary object of the invention it is also an object of the invention to produce an AFPCS that:
These and other objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the subsequent detailed description of the preferred embodiment and the appended claims taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.
The best mode for carrying out the invention is presented in terms of a preferred embodiment for an adjustable frequency pump control system 10, (hereinafter “AFPCS 10”). The AFPCS 10 is designed to optimize the performance of a pool's water circulation pump at all the design points of the pump's filtration cycle.
The preferred embodiment of the AFPCS 10, which is also referred to as a SMART PUMP CONTROL SYSTEM (SPCS)™, is shown in
The enclosure 12, as shown in
When the enclosure's front door 12A is opened, an inner panel 12B is exposed, as shown in
The externally applied power input 60, as shown in
The AFD 18, as also shown in
The software 20 controls the settings that are retained in the memory of the AFD 18. These settings include but are not limited to motor horsepower, voltage, motor RPM, current draw, the circulation pump set point (CPSP), the backwash speed (BWSPD) and the plus set point (PSP).
The keypad 22 displays the speed of the circulation pump speed in revolutions per minute (RPM), pump frequency, accumulated power usage, current power usage, pool's return line pressure, accumulated run time and various selectable fault messages.
The primary function of the AFD 18 is to control the input frequency that is ultimately applied to the circulation pump 62 which, in turn, controls the speed of the circulation pump 62. Presently, three frequency-set operating speeds are available:
(1) Normal filtration speed,
(2) Backwash speed, and
(3) Plus speed.
The outputs of the AFD 18 consist of a motor contactor close signal 19 and a set of three motor speed control signals 21, 23 and 25.
The AFD motor contactor 24 that when closed by the application of the motor contactor close signal 19 passes the motor control signals 21, 23 and 25 onto the motor thermal overload 28. At the output of the AFD motor contactor 24 is a bypass contactor 26 that is used to bypass the AFD 18 which occurs when switched into the bypass mode by user via mode selector switch. The outputs from either the AFD motor contactor 24 or the bypass contactor 26 are applied to the motor thermal overload circuit 28 that protects the motor from thermal overload.
The thermal overload circuit 28 produces a set of motor speed control signals 21, 23, 25 that in combination with the AFD 18 and the PLC 42 operates the circulation pump 62 at a selected speed.
The input power leads 11 and 13 applied from the output of the circuit breakers 14 and applied to the primary winding 30A of the power transformer 30. The secondary winding 30B of the power transformer 30 is a stepped-down voltage that ranges from 110 to 120 volts a-c. The stepped-down voltage is applied across lead lines 27 and 29 to the inputs of the system mode selector switch 32, the d-c power supply 34, the time clock 38, the fan 40 and the PLC 42.
The system mode selector switch 32 is mounted on the enclosure's front door 12A and allows a user of the AFPCS 10 to select any of six system operating modes or to turn off the AFPCS 10. The six operating modes are shown in
(2) normal filtration,
(3) manual backwash,
(4) normal filtration plus,
(5) automatic, and
(6) automatic plus.
The output of the d-c power supply 34 is a regulated 24-volts d-c that is applied through a lead line 33. The output is applied to and powers the pressure transducer 36 as described infra.
The time clock 38 produces an output consisting of a mode timing signal 35.
The fan 40, which can consist of a single fan 40 or a plurality of fans 40 can include a filter 40A. The fan(s) 40 are optimally placed on the enclosure 12 to maintain the enclosure elements cool and to further protect the AFPCS 10 elements from a corrosive environment.
The PLC 42 is designed to operate in combination with the AFD 18 to control the speed of the motor that operates the circulation pump 62. The six inputs applied to the PLC are comprised of:
(1) a PLC enabling input that is applied through the lead lines 27 and 29 from the secondary winding 30B of the power transformer 30,
(2) a selected mode signal 31 applied from the system mode selector switch 32,
(3) a mode timing signal 35 that is applied from the time clock 38,
(4) a line pressure signal 37 that is applied from the pressure transducer 36,
(5) a circulation pump-run signal 39 that is applied from the chemical or filter control unit 64, and
(6) a backwash signal 41 that is also applied from the chemical or filter control unit 64.
The output of the PLC is the frequency-set signal 17 that is ultimately utilized, as shown in
The pressure transducer 36 when enabled by the 24-volts d-c signal 33 applied from the d-c power supply 34, produces the line pressure signal 37 that is one of the signals that controls the operation of the PLC 42. The pressure transducer 36, which can be operated at a PSI ranging from 0 to 50, is provided with a 50-froot shielded connection cable to allow the pressure transducer 36 to be easily installed and serviced if necessary.
Normal Filtration Speed: during the initial start-up of the AFPCS 10, the speed of the circulation pump 62 is adjusted until the desired flow rate is achieved. The flow rate is indicated by a flow meter located in a pool's equipment room. The value from the pressure transducer 36 is programmed into the AFPCS 10 and becomes the Circulation Pump Set Point (CPSP). The AFPCS 10 continually compares the value received from the pressure transducer 36 to the CPSP and adjusts the output to the circulation pump motor to maintain the value required.
Backwash Speed: during initial start-up the pump speed is adjusted until the desired flow rate is reached. This value is the flow rate that satisfies the filter manufacturer requirements for optimum backwash performance. This value becomes the Backwash Speed (BWSPD). The BWSPD is a pre-set speed that is programmed during final start-up and does not vary during the backwash cycle.
Plus Speed: this speed is an energy saving speed that is either a variable speed that maintains a minimum flow across a pool heater as set forth by the heater manufacturer or a zero output speed (stopped). In cases where a minimum flow rate is to be maintained, during initial start-up the pump speed is adjusted until the desired flow rate is reached. Once the desired flow rate is reached, the speed becomes the Plus Set Point (PSP). Speed change is activated by the time clock 38. The time clock is programmed during start-up to operate at the CPSP for a set number of hours and then switches to the PSP for the remaining hours of a 24-hour period.
For zero output speed, a system-external controller shuts down the heater and provides a signal to the AFPCS 10 when it is safe to shut off the circulation pump 36. When that controller initiates a restart, the AFPCS 10 turns on and begins to control the pump speed in accordance with the pre-selected operating mode.
The six unique operating modes of the AFPCS 10 are shown in
Bypass: in this mode all internal logic is bypassed and the circulation pump 36 operates at full speed.
Normal Filtration: this is a manual mode in which the pump operates at the CPSP.
Manual Backwash: this is a manual mode in which the pump operates at the BWSPD.
Normal Filtration Plus: this is a semi-manual mode in which the circulation pump 36 operates at either the CPSP or the PSP. The time clock 38 controls how long the AFPCS 10 will run the circulation pump 62 at the CPSP and the PSP. The programming in the time clock switches automatically from one set point to the other.
Automatic: this is a fully automatic mode in which external signals, 120-volts a-c or 24-volts d-c, are received by the AFPCS 10 from the chemical or filter control unit 64.
At a minimum for the automatic mode these signals are comprised of:
(1) a circulation pump activation signal,
(2) a backwash pump or valve activation signal, and
(3) a pressure transducer signal.
When a signal at the circulation pump 62 is active the AFPCS 10 will run the circulation pump 62 at the CPSP. If the signal is terminated, the pump shuts off. When the signal is active at the backwash pump, the AFPCS 10 will override the CPSP and operate at the backwash speed. When the signal at the backwash pump is dropped, the AFPCS 10 checks for a signal at the circulation pump 62 and if present will operate at the CPSP. If no signal is present the AFPCS 10 will shut off.
Automatic plus: this is a fully automatic mode that uses the same operating sequence as the automatic mode and adding the features of the plus speed.
As long as the signal at the circulation pump 62 is active, the time clock controls how long the AFPCS 10 will run the circulation pump 62 at the CPSP and the PSP. The programming in the time clock will switch from one set point to the other automatically.
At any time during operation, if the backwash signal becomes active the AFPCS 10 will automatically switch into the backwash mode and operate at the BWSPD. When the signal from the backwash pump is terminated, the AFPCS 10 will check for a signal at the circulation pump and, if a signal is present, the AFPCS 10 will operate at the CPSP or the PSP as controlled by the time clock 38.
When in the bypass mode, as shown in
When in the manual backwash mode, as shown in
When in the normal filtration mode, as shown in
When in the normal filtration plus mode, as shown in
If the plus speed is active, the software 20 searches for an input. The program then compares the value to the programmed value of the PSP and adjusts the output frequency to the motor of the circulation pump 62 either up or down until the values are equal. The AFPCS 10 will continually loop through this logic pattern until the time clock 38 indicates that the plus speed is no longer active.
When the AFPCS is in the automatic mode, as shown in
120 volt power at circulation pump activation,
24 volts power at circulation pump activation,
120 volts power at backwash mode activation,
24 volt power at backwash mode activation.
When a signal at the circulation pump 62 is active the AFPCS 10 will run the circulation pump at the CPSP in the normal filtration mode. If the signal is dropped the pump shuts off. When a signal is active at the backwash, the AFPCS 10 will override the CPSP and operate at the BWSPD. When a signal at the backwash is dropped, the AFPCS will check for a signal at the circulation pump 62 and, if a signal is present, will operate at the CPSP. If no signal is present the AFPCS 10 will shut off. The AFPCS 10 will continually loop through the logic pattern until switched off or placed into a different mode.
When in the automatic plus mode, as shown in
If in the normal filtration mode, the software 20 will search for external signals in the following positions:
120 volt power at circulation pump activation,
24 volt power at circulation pump activation,
120 volt power at backwash mode activation,
24 volts power at backwash mode activation.
When a signal at the circulation pump is active the AFPCS 10 will operate the pump at the CPSP in the normal filtration mode. If the signal is dropped, the pump shuts off. When a signal is active at the backwash, the AFPCS will override the CPSP and operate the AFPCS 10 at BWSPD. When the signal at backwash is dropped. the AFPCS 10 will check for a signal at the circulation pump and, if a signal is present, will operate at AFPCS provided that the time clock 38 indicates that normal filtration mode is active. If no signal is present the AFPCS 10 will shut off.
If in plus speed, the software program 20 will search for external signals at the following positions:
120 volt power at circulation pump activation,
24 volt power at circulation pump activation,
120 volt power at backwash mode activation,
24 volt power at backwash mode activation.
When a signal at the circulation pump 62 is active the AFPCS 10 will run the pump at PSP in plus mode. If the signal is dropped the pump shuts off. When a signal is active at backwash, the AFPCS will override the PSP and operate at the BWSPD. When the signal at backwash is dropped, the AFPCS 10 will check for a signal at the circulation pump and, if present, will operate at the PSP provided the time clock 38 indicates that the plus mode is still active. If no signal is present the AFPCS 10 will shut off. The AFPCS 10 will continually loop through this logic pattern until switched off or into a different mode.
While the invention has been described in complete detail and pictorially shown in the accompanying drawings it is not to be limited to such details, since many changes and modifications may be made to the invention without departing from the spirit and the scope thereof. Hence, it is described to cover any and all modifications and forms which may come within the language and cope of the claims.
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|U.S. Classification||318/268, 417/44.1, 417/44.2|
|International Classification||F04B49/02, F04B49/06|
|Mar 28, 2014||REMI||Maintenance fee reminder mailed|
|Aug 17, 2014||LAPS||Lapse for failure to pay maintenance fees|
|Oct 7, 2014||FP||Expired due to failure to pay maintenance fee|
Effective date: 20140817